How to shorten a leash, the easy way.

For any human who uses a long leash with their dog, but also let their dogs play off leash, daddy has an easy method to quickly shortening the leash to keep it out of the way when the dogs are off. This is a common climber’s trick called “daisy chain” to keep long slings and cords compact and organized. The best part of this trick is when you do need the long leash again, it’s just one quick pull to get the whole thing undone.


Step 1: find a leash. Shown in the photo is a Ruff  Wear Flat Out leash, but you can use any leash you have. Loop a section of the leash close to the end that connects to your dog’s collar.


Step 2: take a bight (a doubled-over section) on your side of the leash and feed it through the loop you’ve created in step 1. You’re essentially creating a quick-release overhand knot. At this point if you take both end of the leash and pull them away from each other, everything should come undone. If you pull and end up with a tightening knot in your leash, start over, you’ve done something wrong.


Step 3: take another bight of leash and feed it through the loop you’ve created in step 2. Repeat this step until the leash is shortened to your desired length. Again at this point everything is still quick-releasable, if you pull the leash from both ends the whole thing will come undone. If you end up with a tightening knot somewhere, you’ve done something wrong.


Step 4: you need this step to keep the whole thing from coming undone. If you’re using a Flat Out leash, it’s quiet simple: just unclip the plastic buckle on your end of the leash, and clip it through the last loop you’ve created in step 3. Now the Flat Out leash can be clipped to your waist, or clipped to a pack somewhere to keep it out of the way. If you’re using a leash without the plastic clip, you just need to feed your end of the leash through the last loop you’ve created in step 3. Now your leash can either be easily stowed, or clipped to your dog and used as a short leash.


A Ruff Wear Flat Out leash shortened by using the plastic buckle to clip through the last loop.


Regular leash can be shortened by feeding the end of the leash through the last loop.

To release the daisy chain, just undo the last step (step 4), then give the whole thing a pull (or if you’ve clipped it to your dog as a short leash, undo the last step and let your dog pull for you), all the knots should come easily undone, unless your dog has been pulling you on the short leash, in that case the first knot needs a little manual attention.

Isn’t it a quick and easy way to adjust the length of your leash? If you liked this method, or have any questions, please leave them in the comments!

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40 Responses to How to shorten a leash, the easy way.

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  29. Thanks for sharing that tip! Daisy chaining is such a nice way to keep long pieces of webbing neat and tidy, but I never thought about applying it to my dog’s leash. Great idea!

    • polar says:

      Thanks! Daddy has known about daisy chain since his climbing days, but he has only recently thought of it to shorten my leash. Of course I really prefer not to have the leash at all, but for the times when we need to have it, at least this method keeps it out of my way.

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